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North Korea said Saturday it has deported an American veteran of the Korean War who had been detained there since October for what Pyongyang described as "hostile acts" against the communist country. Merrill Newman, an 85-year-old from California, was deported "from a humanitarian viewpoint", the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, citing his "sincere repentance" as well as his age and health condition. "We are pleased that Mr Merrill Newman has been allowed to depart the DPRK and rejoin his family. We welcome the DPRK's decision to release him," State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement.